The FRC has asked for post-implementation feedback on the 2016 Ethical and Auditing standards. UKSA and ShareSoc recognise that these were introduced before the current concerns about auditing standards became evident.
This fact notwithstanding, we feel that the questions asked in the consultation could have been more searching in trying to reach a better understanding of the causes of the dismal failure that audit has come to represent.
As is so often the case in these situations, standards and guidance are based on objectives that are not quantified and are not measurable. This makes it impossible to say whether objectives have been met. It also creates a situation in which expectations will vary widely - particularly between the providers of audit services and the users of audited financial statements.
There are many other questions that are prompted indirectly by the consultation. If these are taken into account in the wider debate about standards and ethics in the context of the future of audit, then the consultation will have been of some benefit.
The full submission can be found here.